Originally Published by Global Leaders Magazine June 2021
A Technology Innovator Seeks to Transform a 150-Year-Old Industry
Some people accept the world the way it is, while others are
always curious, always striving to find ways to make it better. As a child in India, Sridhar Deivasigamani’s curiosity led him to tinker with ham radios, amplifiers, model airplanes, and electrical wiring. A born tech enthusiast, Sridhar wanted to know how things work. This passion for innovation soon grew and shaped his career path: Sridhar completed his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering, then he moved to the United States to obtain his master’s degree in the same subject from Clemson University. Soon after, he began working on and improving robotics and marine engines at Caterpillar, where he worked for many years before ultimately
launching his own company.
Now, Sridhar is the co-founder and CEO of Intellihot, a company that Innovation at the Center Sridhar has always tried to find a better way to do things. So when a traditional water heater broke down and flooded his basement 15 years ago, he didn’t just get a replacement — he set out to reinvent the technology itself. His dedication to innovation has led Intellihot to designs, manufactures, and assembles tankless water heaters for industrial and commercial applications — the first company to do so entirely in the United States.
Innovation at the Center
Sridhar has always tried to find a better way to do things. So when a traditional water heater broke down and flooded his basement 15 years ago, he didn’t just get a replacement — he set out to reinvent the technology itself. His dedication to innovation has led Intellihot to become an industry leader, developing 60+ awarded and pending patents and an exclusive agreement with NASA that enables Intellihot to power its products with combustion technology developed by NASA.
Since the outbreak of the airborne COVD-19 virus, people around the world have been more conscious of their health and hygiene, as well as improving building site health and safety — take the rising cases of Legionnaires’ disease across the The water heating industry has been using the same technology for decades: hundreds of gallons of water are stored and kept hot 24/7. In fact, the United States constantly stores and heats a quantity of water equivalent to 1/6th of Lake Tahoe annually, leading to enormous energy waste and increased costs. This stored water is not only wasteful, but it promotes the growth of legionella bacteria that, when aspirated, can cause acute pneumonia.
“One cannot make big changes with modest improvements or marginally better products or solutions.”
Since the outbreak of the airborne COVD-19 virus, people around the world have been more conscious of their health and hygiene, as well as improving building site health and safety — take the rising cases of Legionnaires’ disease across the country, which increased five-fold between 2000 and 2018, according to the CDC. The raw numbers are alarming: Nearly 10,000 cases of Legionnaires’ disease were reported to the CDC in 2018 — the most ever in U.S. history, and likely an underestimate. Some believe the true figure is double that, while others estimate the annual case count to be between 52,000 and 70,000.
“In hospitals and nursing homes, especially where germs spread with ease and patients are vulnerable to infection, Legionnaires’ disease can
be a significant danger,” Sridhar explains. That’s why the Intellihot team is committed to combating the rise of legionella bacteria in buildings by providing information and products that keep occupants safe.
The team is constantly looking for new avenues to improve the environment and enhance commercial buildings’ health and safety. In 2021, Intellihot began offering services that help property and facility managers alleviate problems such as sudden water heater failures and large, unplanned capital expenditures. They have developed a state-of-art AI monitoring technology service that can predict the life of any water heater.
This monitor is backed by Hot Water 365 Service, a full-service leasing and hot water management program that transfers all responsibility for hot water replacement, service, and maintenance to Intellihot. Hot Water 365 service frees up customers and facility managers to focus on running
Meeting Sustainability Goals
Sridhar envisions a future moving toward more sustainable options that further reduce energy waste. The team at Intellihot plans to lead the way by innovating new products and technologies that help customers meet their 2030 sustainability goals while also helping improve health and safety.